Submitted by adamec on
Doing what I can to follow Drucker's advice for being effective and struggling to find uninterrupted blocks of time in my company's open floor plan.
I'm continuously asked for help/advice from people both within and from outside my department.
Besides one on ones (which I don't do cross functionally), how can I better gain time to myself to deep dive and concentrate on the real tasks that will bring more results to my company?
I am not trying to hide from my people/coworkers. Just need some time to myself in large chunks. We have no offices, very short walls, and little to no privacy.
I've brainstormed a few ideas:
1. Grab a conference room daily (but I won't have my dual monitors, which make me much more effective)
2. Headphones (prefer not, as people still tend to interrupt and I find it unprofessional)
3. "Do Not Disturb" card. Maybe red (do not disturb), yellow (business related topics only), green (converstions welcome)?
I think this issue is throughout my org. I'd like to be an example of how to show people I need some time to myself. Maybe others will adopt the idea.
Some other ideas which have worked for me
Come in an hour or two early.
For "think with no coding" stretches during normal work hours, go off to the site cafeteria, a nearby park or library, even a lunch spot mid-afternoon.
Team agreement on visual cues to "please do not disturb". Tom DeMarco shares an example of one division which agreed to display red bandannas on sticks to indicate this. Groups I've been in have used headphones, sitting at someone else's desk, string or an open umbrella or a fake door across the cube opening, and special hats.
Set up an identical kit at home, and work from home when you need the dedicated time.
Group agreement on "do not disturb" times, such as mornings between 8 and 10.